Tag Archives: Marvel Comics Horror Characters


masc graveyard smallerThis weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero post here at Balladeer’s Blog marks the start of Halloween Month with a retrospective on Marvel Comics’ 1970s horror figures like Ghost Rider, Satana the Devil’s Daughter, Werewolf by Night, Blade the Vampire Slayer, Son of Satan, Golem, the Living Mummy and the Simon Garth Zombie.

wwbn 1WEREWOLF BY NIGHT – Since Marvel has a Werewolf by Night production coming out soon, we’ll start with this character. Moon Knight made his very first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975) but beat the werewolf to the screen this year.

Picture the 1960s and 1970s Paul Naschy werewolf movies from Spain in comic book form and you’ve got Werewolf by Night. Just as Naschy’s tormented lycanthrope Waldemar Daninsky sought a cure for his condition while clashing with assorted monsters, Marvel’s Jack Russell aka Jack Russoff did the same.

Jack and his love interests, mostly the female mystic Topaz, also battled the Committee, a secretive organization of ruthless businessmen who sought to capture the werewolf and use him to kill off select enemies, preserving plausible deniability for the Committee’s members. Moon Knight, mercenary Marc Spector, was one of the agents that the Committee sent after Jack. Continue reading


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As Halloween Month continues to unfold, Balladeer’s Blog takes a one-week break from the ongoing review of 1970s Spider-Man stories to do something more seasonal – a look at the Simon Garth zombie covers from Marvel Comics. 

tales of zombie 1TALES OF THE ZOMBIE Vol 1 #1 (July 1973)

Title: Altar of the Damned

Comment: The first Silver Age appearance of the Marvel Comics horror character Simon Garth, a brutal coffee plantation owner who was killed and brought back to life as a zombie by his Haitian workers.

Garth was not your typical mindless zombie wanting to feed on human beings all the time. His stories provided insight into the still-functioning mind of the man trapped in this horrific fate as he battled assorted supernatural menaces, some drawn from VooDoo lore, others created by Marvel.

Simon Garth could be used against his will at times by people in possession of the Amulet of Damballah which controlled him. Continue reading


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Blade black & whiteAs Halloween Month continues here’s a look at the very early years of  the Marvel Comics horror character Blade the Vampire Slayer, who debuted in 1973. In retrospect I prefer the original “look” for this dynamic figure: the long coat, the bandolier of six teakwood knives and the green-hued “photo-optic visor” aka goggles aka biker shades. I’ve never liked swords for vampire slaying so the wooden knives used by Blade back then appeal to me more.

We’ll skip over the stories about Eric Dickersonalleged legal fights with the original creator of Blade, fights that eventually necessitated the changes in Blade’s look and trademark weaponry. Suffice it to say that the 1970s Blade strikes me as an “Indiana Jones of horror” with a vintage Pulp Magazine vibe. And football player Eric Dickerson would have made a perfect cinematic Blade if a movie had been done in the early 1980s, right after Raiders of the Lost Ark. With Pam Grier as Safron Caulder and Oliver Reed as Deacon Frost.

Drac 10TOMB OF DRACULA Vol 1 #10 (July 1973)

Title: His Name Is … Blade

Comment: The very first appearance of the original Blade came in the 10th issue of Tomb of Dracula, along with Ghost Rider one of Marvel’s longest lasting horror comics of the 1970s. The title villain/ antihero was THE Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel.

Blade made his badass debut by saving innocent British victims from three vampires who served Dracula. After killing the trio, Blade trailed Drac himself to a luxury liner loaded with the wealthy and the powerful. The vampire king planned to use the partying passengers as a blood supply AND as a cadre of Renfields to further his plans.

Eric Dickerson 2Our vampire slayer arrived in time to save all but a few of the “beautiful people” from Dracula.

After a battle royal between Blade and Drac, the Count escaped while Blade evacuated the surviving passengers to save them from explosives planted on the ship by one of Dracula’s thralls.    Continue reading


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Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at pop culture mammoth Marvel Comics’ long(ish) running horror series Werewolf by Night.

Werewolf 1WEREWOLF BY NIGHT Vol 1 #1 (September 1972)

Title: Eye of the Beholder

Villains: Marlene Blackgar, whose horrible gaze turns people to stone, and her monstrous creation Strug

Comment: After a few issue tryout in Marvel Spotlight, 18 year old Jack Russell (really Russoff), the titular character, got his own title. He was the son of a European nobleman and the latest inheritor of the family’s curse of lycanthropy. A curse he sought a cure for.

His adventures were often like a comic book version of Paul Naschy’s Waldemar Daninsky werewolf movies from Spain. Continue reading


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tales-of-the-zombie-2As always October is one long celebration of Halloween here at Balladeer’s Blog. The hulking undead figure in the picture is Simon Garth, the title character in Tales of the Zombie from Marvel Comics. Marvel still hasn’t properly used their horror figures, with just Blade the Vampire Slayer (Debut Year 1973) and the Ghost Rider (Debut Year 1972) getting treatment on the big and small screens.

For additional pics and my in-depth examination of Tales of the Zombie, Satana the Devil’s Daughter and three others Continue reading

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Filed under Halloween Season, Superheroes